“Ascend to the summit of Union Peak for great views... just not of Crater Lake.”
— Brian Smith
Birding · Views · Wildlife
You can expect the trail to be snow-covered from October to early July, however, conditions vary somewhat from year to year. See Crater Lake Current Conditions
for more information.
A mellow approach through the forest leads to steep and exposed switchbacks.
This trail spurs off of the Pacific Crest Trail, about 2.5 miles south of Crater Lake HWY (62). See the Union Peak
featured run for details about accessing this trail from the north via the PCT. You can also access it via the Pumice Flat Trail
and a different portion of the PCT: Highway 140 to Highway 138 (near Cascade Crest)
After branching off of the PCT, this trail moves through a lodgepole pine forest with very moderate grades. At around the two-mile mark, the trail becomes much steeper as it winds through open and rocky switchbacks to the summit of Union Peak
. There are magnificent panoramic views from the top, but be warned, you won't see Crater Lake from here.
is the core of an old volcano eroded by glaciers during the last Ice Age. It is the most conspicuous feature in the southwestern portion of the park, its summit being 7,698 feet above sea level and over 1000 feet above the general level of the adjacent area. The upper 800 feet of the peak stands as a rock spire above a ridge-like base which is the drainage divide between Union Creek to the north and Red Blanket Creek to the south, both streams being tributaries of the Rogue River.
Flora & Fauna
Lodgepole pine forest gives way to a rugged and rocky alpine summit.